BC Transit will implement new enhancements in September 2019. (File photo)

Catch last call and a cheap ride home: Late night buses coming to Victoria in 2019

New plan will extend service on weekends with last trip leaving downtown at 3 a.m.

Victoria will soon have late night bus service that will allow people to catch last call at the bar and a cheap ride home.

The Victoria Regional Transit Commission met Tuesday and approved in principle three transit service enhancement priorities for 2019/2020 – including extending late night service by one hour on Fridays and Saturdays, improving summer transit service on ferry-oriented routes and increasing frequency and span on crosstown routes.

The enhancements will reflect an additional 20,000 hours of service annually.

RELATED: BC Transit tests second electric bus on Victoria streets

Late night service has been identified as a priority through Local Area Transit Planning activities as well as several advocacy and service associations.

Currently, on Fridays, Saturdays and select holidays the last bus out of downtown Victoria is between 1:30 and 1:45 a.m. – not ideal when last call at the bar is 2 a.m.

The new plan will extend late night service by one hour on Fridays, Saturdays and select holidays with three additional trips, the last scheduled trips leaving downtown Victoria between 2:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.

“Bar and nightclub patrons empty on to the streets with only one transportation option, an overwhelmed taxi service. My colleagues that manage hotels on or near the bar zones can attest to the challenges they have with dispersing crowds of people every Friday and Saturday night,” wrote Reid James, chair of the Hotel Association of Greater Victoria, in a letter to the commission expressing support for extending the night time service.

RELATED: BC Transit spends over $600,000 on new Victoria buses

Another letter of support came from Paul Gandall, president of the Victoria Downtown Residents Association.

“This would significantly reduce noise, disruption and safety concerns for downtown residents after bars and other venues close, by offering both patrons and workers an affordable means of quickly exiting the core area,” wrote Gandall.

The second priority, to increase the frequency and span of crosstown routes, provides critical connections to areas outside of downtown Victoria. The Transit Future Plan recommends a frequency of 15-minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

A number of crosstown routes don’t meet this standard and are experiencing challenges with on-time performance and peak capacity. Additional service hours will improve transit service levels and address capacity issues.

The third priority is additional service to ferry-oriented routes. There has been a significant increase in demand on routes servicing the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal. As a result, ferry-oriented transit routes are experiencing bus crowding and pass ups. Additional summer service on ferry-oriented routes will help meet the recent increase in demand.

While the commission meeting Tuesday didn’t meet quorum, there was unanimous approval from those there, and the agreement will be ratified by email by all commissioners in the coming days.

“I have no concerns,” said Susan Brice, chair of Victoria Regional Transit Commission. “We made a consensus decision and we want to make sure we have a quorum vote on the record.”

The funds for the enhancements will be finalized in the February budget with implementation in September 2019.

For more information on the planned enhancements see bctransit.com


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Saanich Gulf-Islands’s Elizabeth May coy about leadership plans

The federal Green party leader talks possibility of running as MP without being leader

West Shore RCMP catches driver going 50 kilometres over speed limit

Driver caught on Veterans Memorial Parkway between Sooke and Kelly Roads

Central Saanich top cop acknowledges mistake that led to knife in hospital

Officer in question ‘accepted full responsibility and apologized’

MISSING: Sidney/North Saanich RCMP seek help finding Peninsula man

Vincent Olsen was last heard from on Oct. 21

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

POLL: Are you satisfied with the result of the federal election?

The ballots have now been counted and the dust has settled on… Continue reading

Estheticians can’t be forced to wax male genitals, B.C. tribunal rules

Langley transgender woman Jessica Yaniv was ordered to pay three salon owners $2,000 each

Two youth arrested in UBC carjacking at gunpoint, after being spotted in stolen Kia

‘A great deal of credit is due the alert person who called us,’ said North Vancouver Sgt. Peter DeVries

Open house for Royal Beach tonight

The third open house to gather public input on Royal Beach takes… Continue reading

People’s Party of Canada’s anti-immigration views ‘didn’t resonate’ with voters: prof

Party was formed on anti-immigration, climate denying views in 2018

Windstorm knocks out power for 10,000 in north and central B.C.

Power slowly being restored, BC Hydro says

Investor alert: ‘Split games’ pyramid scheme circulating in B.C.

British Columbia Securities Commission issues warning about scheme selling virtual shares

Federal NDP may support B.C. with major projects, Carole James says

SkyTrain Surrey extension, Massey Tunnel need Ottawa’s help

Most Read